Monday, May 30, 2016

Gdańsk, Poland - Szczecin exchanges, miracles or coincidences?

Exchanges in Gdańsk with the Sczcecin siostri!
Myself, Siostri Young, Siostri Sloan, Siosti Stahl
Siesta Stahl and myself! 
Szczecin Siostri!
Eatting at Pierogarnia!  Amazing food! Peace out!
We went and snapped some pictures of Gdańsk - I'm not kidding when I say I feel like I'm on a movie set!  It is beautiful here!
Some parts of Gdańsk have been rebuilt after it was destroyed
but the old has also been preserved!
I found my dearest Szczecin in Gdańsk! 
This is a typical "not so colorful street" in Gdańsk!
The facades and gables are consistent with the colorful streets!
Notice the water draining system!
Now that there is warmer weather you can buy almost anything on the streets!
Texture and detail is everywhere!
The lighting from the sun and clouds changes the mood - shadows to bright and happy!


I love these people!
Branch member heading to help us teach!  He was incredible!
Don't mess with the siostri!

Temporary Resident!  I'm happier about this than this picture indicates! Haha!
Cześć Family and Friends!!!!

This week we had... EXCHANGES!!!!! It was so much fun to be able to have the Szczecin Sisters, Siostra Sloan and Siostra Stahl, here!! We had such an incredible time!  I will write more about what happened later in this letter!!

Before we picked up the Szczecin Sisters we were able to have a lesson with one of our investigators (the young girl that came to church)! We started off by asking her about her Book of Mormon reading! We then did an entire "ask, seek, knock lesson" - meaning we talked to her about how she can receive answers! We read scripture about if you ask, seek, knock, then it will be opened unto you!  She asked us what that meant! We then explained to her how coming to church, reading the scriptures, prayers, and keeping the commandments allow us to receive answers! 

Somehow it lead us to talking about the fall of Adam and Eve and the atonement! We explained to her that the fall was a part of God's plan!  She was confused about this as well as why Christ had to suffer in the way he did! We both bore simple testimonies of God's plan for us and what the Atonement means to us personally! There was an incredible spirit in the room! 

Finally she asked us how we knew the difference between a miracle/answer and a coincidence! Something I have learned on my mission is there are no coincidences! I honestly believe that so called coincidences are honestly "male cudy" (small miracles)! We explained this to her and we asked when she met the missionaries was that a coincidence or a miracle?  She realized it was miracle because God's hand was in it! The spirit was so strong the entire time during the lesson! I am so excited to see where everything goes with her!!

The exchange was absolutely amazing! It was so good to be able to spend time with my old companion Siostra Sloan! We called our companionship "Slodaunt."  We were able to do a finding activity together! We talked a lot about how we really wanted to set up with people on the street! We had the most amazing contacts! 

One girl, even though she wasn't interested in meeting, took a Book of Mormon, hugged us and said thank you!! We couldn't believe it! We also were actually able to set up on the streets with a young man as well! It was incredible to be able to see our goals accomplished that we had set!! 

I was also able to work with Sister Stahl! She is new to the country or "a greenie" as we missionaries call them but she was just so ready to work and jumped in with both feet! It was crazy to be able to go tracting with her! It was a huge testimony to me of how far I really have come! Sometimes as missionaries we get stuck in seeing what is right in front of our faces (teaching level, language level, etc.)! It was incredible to see Sister Stahl so willing to work and to remember that, that is where I started and it also showed me how far I have come! 

I am by no means the perfect missionary or even close to being perfect at the language but krok po kroku (step by step) I have improved! A saying I love lately is Elder Holland's words "We get credit for trying!" This is from this past General Conference! I have felt over and over again a hug or nudge from my Heavenly Father to keep going and that he is proud of me for always trying, even when sometimes it is hard and I may not want to! 

My favorite part of exchanges though is saying our testimonies all in Polish! I couldn't help but become emotional as I shared that this is the best thing I have ever done and I could not be more grateful to be serving in Poland! I really constantly count my blessings that I am here and I am able to serve and love the people here!

After exchanges we got back into the swing of things! We were able to meet with that family again and we were able to bring a member with us! This member is a young guy around my age! He is honestly incredible! When he bore his testimony this stillness and peace filled the room!! It was incredible to hear and see our investigators feel the spirit as he spoke! 

We also had an incredible finding week! Sister Young and I lately have really been trying to improve our contacts! We don't want people to feel they are being preached at! We are upfront about who we are and what we believe so the conversation can become more natural...And guess what?! People listen more! 

The most incredible miracle this week was actually talking to an Atheist couple who midway through the conversation admitted that thiere is a God! It was so beautiful! Although they weren't interested in setting up Sister Young and I both walked away knowing they were touched by the Spirit!! 

I am so exited to see what this next week brings!! This really is the best thing I have done with my life! It has helped me grow and change so much! I am forever grateful for every experience, both the highs and lows, that I have on my mission!!

Keep the faith!

Kocham Was!!!!

Siosta DeMordaunt

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